Today, we know very little about peace. We study war, terrorism, violence, aggression and conflict, and peace in the context of those processes. Few researchers study peace directly. Howeve, when attitudes toward peace are studied, they often suffer from self-report biases that limit their predictive value.
The International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Columbia University is collaborating with The Institute for Competitive Excellence (ICE) at Queens College (CUNY), wedding the expertise of ICCCR and ICE in developing knowledge and practice to promote constructive conflict resolution, effective cooperation, and social justice. Efforts focus on participatory processes that increase social capital and engagement in long-term peace processes. Encouraging the movement towards ‘positive’
Researchers are using Mind Genomics ® IdeaMap®.net Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE), conjoint analyis applied technology research tools invented by Dr. Howard R. Moskowitz, president of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc.,a Queens College alumnus, to conduct iterative studies to identify fundamental differences in the motivational mind-sets common to both Israeli and Palestinian citizens in the Middle East. RDE provides a new way to understand how people differ, not by who they are, but by the patterns of their reactions to micro-situations of everyday life.
The findings from our studies suggest the following three conclusions:
1. The motives to work for peace differ fundamentally from the motives to end conflict.
In general, we found that the reasons Israelis and Palestinians are motivated to make and sustain peace are independent of the reasons they are motivated to end the inter-communal conflict through negotiations (insignificantly correlated at .07). These distinct sets of motives were not opposites – the drivers for peace and the drivers for ending conflict – but were in fact fundamentally distinct sets of motives.
2. The two basic mindsets that motivate people to work for peace in Israel/Palestine are mirror opposites of one another.
· 54% of the joint-population of Israel/Palestine are motivated by Peace Mindset #1, positive incentives and possibilities of realizing peace (coexistence, more safety and better education for children, etc.), but also repulsed by painful losses (injuries, deaths and lost revenues).
· 46% were the opposite – primarily motivated to make peace by Peace Mindset #2, painful losses (deaths and violent atrocities), but were repulsed by hopeful potentials (better future for children and economic prosperity).
3. The two mindsets identified for promoting peace transcend Israeli/Palestinian
ethnic or national affiliation.
· Israelis and Palestinians do not differ significantly in what motivates them to agree to work for peace – but, in fact, share the same set of two mindsets.
· Each mindset appears in both populations.
o Peace Mindset #1, or the more promotive “positive-
(54% of all participants)
o Peace Mindset #2, or the more preventative “painful-loss”
of all participants)
What does this mean for promoting peace? It means that:
Large groups of Israelis and Palestinians share similar interests and concerns regarding peace.
There is no one way to frame or message activities for peace-building as the messages that motivate half the population repel the other half.
RDE can be immensely helpful in understanding the different mindsets in a manner that could allow for more effective mobilization of work for peace in local communities.
RDE can also be employed to more accurately identify the needs and services that are most important and resonant with community members.
Each study not only identifies different mindsets, but also generates a sequence of 3-5 questions, known as the Segmentation Wizard, the answers to which identify with greater than 90% certainty which mindset a given individual belongs to.
Further, the Segmentation Wizard takes literally seconds to complete.
What remains to be done to realize this potential?
Continue to collect data on all Israelis and Palestinians through RDE and the Segmentation Wizard (takes one minute) to identify core needs and clusters of mind-types.
Then, NGOs, CBOs and donors working locally in Israel/Palestine on issues of peace, justice and development could target their funding and services to match the more resonant interests and needs of the local population.
In addition, the websites and materials of these service-providers could be customized with the typing-tool questions in order to match their appeals for utilization and involvement with the specific mindsets of every individual that links to them. This could improve engagement and utilization of these services exponentially and, in time, establish a more robust infrastructure for sustaining peace.
One way to mobilize data collection would be to launch a day-long campaign across the region called Give a Minute for Peace. This would encourage all Israelis and Palestinians to take one minute to complete the segmentation wizard. This would benefit from the involvement of international celebrities - film stars, sports figures, musicians, etc. - who champion the day.
One way to collect the data efficiently would be to do so through texting on cell-phones or smart-phones, which are much more pervasive in the region than computers.
To learn more about this innovative approach to conflict resolution:
· The International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W. 120th Street, Box 53
New York, NY 10027
(212) 678-3112, firstname.lastname@example.org
· The Institute for Competitive Excellence (ICE)
Queens College (CUNY)
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Honors Hall, FYI
Flushing, NY 11367
Contact: Martin Braun, PhD, Dean
(718) 997-5567, email@example.com
To donate financial support for this project, visit the website: